Joint Statement on the Contributions of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT) to Enhancing Nuclear Security

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 21, 2012

We, the Co-Chairs (Russia and the United States) of the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism (GICNT), the Implementation and Assessment Group (IAG) Coordinator (Spain), and leaders of the three IAG Working Groups (the Kingdom of Morocco, the Netherlands and Australia) wish to inform the states in attendance at the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit of the valuable contributions the GICNT has made in strengthening global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to nuclear terrorism.

In 2010, the Russian and U.S. Co-Chairs embarked on a process to streamline GICNT activities so that they directly advance key nuclear security goals and the GICNT Statement of Principles, which were adopted at the first GICNT Plenary Meeting in 2006 in Rabat, Morocco. As a result, the partnership implemented the IAG mechanism to better coordinate and focus GICNT activities. The June 2010 Abu Dhabi GICNT Plenary Meeting endorsed Spain to lead the IAG. In Abu Dhabi, the partnership also agreed to direct future activities in the focus areas of nuclear detection and nuclear forensics, two topics of global importance that were highlighted at the 2010 Washington Nuclear Security Summit; the Netherlands and Australia currently lead GICNT working groups on these topics, respectively. In June 2011, the Daejeon GICNT Plenary Meeting added response and mitigation as a third focus area and endorsed the Kingdom of Morocco to lead a working group on this issue.

The IAG held its Inaugural Meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan in September 2010. Shortly thereafter, the GICNT launched the IAG’s technical program at the first IAG Mid-Year Meeting (February 2011) in Cordoba, Spain. The Cordoba IAG Meeting laid the foundation for the development of practical guidance documents and the organization of exercises and seminars in 2011 by partner nations Morocco, Australia, and the United Kingdom. All of these activities were designed to assist partner nations to enhance their capabilities. In the outreach field, Morocco organized a GICNT Outreach Seminar for 26 African states in Rabat (November 2011). Most recently, partner nations gathered at the Second IAG Mid-Year Meeting, held in Marrakech, Morocco from 13 to 16 February 2012, to finalize the first IAG documents and advance working group plans for the coming year. Over 200 GICNT partner nation experts and representatives from all four GICNT official observers (the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the European Union (EU), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)) participated in both the Cordoba and Marrakech IAG Meetings. This robust participation demonstrates the vital importance that GICNT partner nations place on enhancing nuclear security and underscores their desire to work cooperatively to further this goal.

The collaborative efforts fostered by the GICNT are especially significant in light of the 2010 Washington Nuclear Security Summit and the upcoming Seoul Nuclear Security Summit. Already, GICNT collaboration has produced important results that complement the Nuclear Security Summit process and help advance critical elements addressed in the Summit:

  • The Nuclear Detection Working Group, chaired by the Netherlands, is developing a series of guidance documents focused on developing and/or enhancing nuclear and radiological detection efforts. The first document in the series, the "Model Guidelines

March 25, 2012 Revision

Document for Nuclear Detection Architectures," serves as a foundational strategic framework for developing and implementing an effective national-level detection architecture. The second document in the series entitled, "Developing a Nuclear Detection Architecture: Guidelines for Awareness, Training and Exercises" focuses on a methodology for developing and implementing effective awareness, training and exercise mechanisms essential for raising awareness at all levels of detection architecture implementation, maintaining proficiency on skills that support the detection of nuclear and radioactive materials, and exercising the relevant people and capabilities as key elements for successful detection. This document focuses on key principles and considerations for implementing and enhancing five cross-cutting elements: awareness, training, exercises (AT&E), evaluation, and sustainability. The Working Group developed this document through an iterative process using interactive web-based collaboration tools and an in-person comprehensive October 2011 review meeting in Zadar, Croatia. Discussions in Marrakech, Morocco in February 2012 launched the collaborative development of the Working Group’s third document in the Developing a Nuclear Detection Architecture series focused on the Planning and Organization required for implementing an effective detection architecture.

  • The Nuclear Forensics Working Group, chaired by Australia, completed a document entitled, "Nuclear Forensics Fundamentals for Policy Makers and Decision Makers." This document is intended to raise policy maker and decision maker awareness of nuclear forensics as a tool to enhance nuclear material security and to prevent illicit uses of nuclear and other radioactive material. This document also seeks to foster cooperation among governments and assists in identifying capabilities in which investments should be considered. Early in the drafting process, the Working Group partnered with the European Union’s Joint Research Centre for a May 2011 Nuclear Forensics Seminar and Tabletop Exercise in Karlsruhe, Germany focused on policy issues pertaining to technical capabilities and information sharing. This activity allowed partner nations to identify challenges and opportunities in addressing capability gaps, implementing practical frameworks for international engagements, and developing effective methods of information sharing.
  • The Response and Mitigation Working Group, chaired by Morocco, is the newest GICNT working group and initiated its work at the recent February 2012 Marrakech Mid-Year IAG Meeting. The Working Group agreed upon a Scope Document that focuses its activities on collaborative development of best practices and capacity building to strengthen national emergency response frameworks in the event of a malicious act involving nuclear and other radioactive material. The overall objective of the Working Group is to develop a comprehensive guide on how a nation with limited capabilities could go about establishing and building a robust capability.

Looking to the future, the GICNT Co-Chairs, the IAG Coordinator and the Working Group Leaders remain committed to working with GICNT partner nations to pursue focused efforts and activities that foster nuclear security collaboration, advance nuclear security goals, and complement the objectives of the Nuclear Security Summit.

PRN: 2012/427